Everything new in TFT Set 3 – Galaxies: Return to the Stars
TFT Set 3 – Galaxies: Return to the Stars mid set expansion is arriving on PBE and with it comes brand new champions, origins, classes, and the removal of some champions as well.
In this article, we’ll be covering all of the upcoming changes coming to TFT so you can be prepared to try out some new fun builds on the PBE server.
Keep in mind, however, that the data and these thoughts are subject to change depending on if Riot decides to alter anything throughout the PBE testing period.
What’s not coming back?
To start things off, let’s go over every champion that is being removed from Set 3.
- Valkyrie : Kai’Sa, Kayle, Miss Fortune
- Void : Kha’Zix, Cho’Gath, Vel’Koz
- Other : Sona, Kassadin, Lux
- Items : Demolitionist’s Charge (Now Battlecast Armor)
If you absolutely adore any of these champions or items, make sure to play on the live server for the last patch before the update goes live.
In Return to the Stars, there are 3 new traits, 2 origins and 1 class.
Origins : Battlecast, Astro
Battlecast (6 units)
Battlecast Champions, upon dealing or taking 10 instances of damage, heal for 75 (2) / 150 (4) / 250 (6) if below half health, or deal 75 (2) / 150 (4) / 250 (6) magic damage to the nearest enemy if above half.
- Nocturne (1-cost) – Battlecast + Infiltrator
- Illaoi (1-cost) – Battlecast + Brawler
- Kog’Maw (2-cost) – Battlecast + Blaster
- Cassiopeia (3-cost) – Battlecast + Mystic
- Viktor (4-cost) – Battlecast + Sorcerer
- Urgot (5-cost) – Battlecast + Protector
The battlecast synergy is somewhat difficult to assess. It will likely have potential to splash into comps that can easily fit 2 battlecast, but whether or not 4 or 6 battlecast is worth it is a tough call. It’s unlikely that the devs want simple comps like 6 battlecast to be strong, so even if it thrives on PBE, expect nerfs to happen before the trait hits live.
Astro (4 units)
Astro champs have 30 reduced mana cost (3).
- Nautilus (2-cost) – Astro + Vanguard
- Bard (3-cost) – Astro + Mystic
- Gnar (4-cost) – Astro + Brawler
- Teemo (4-cost) – Astro + Sniper
Astro is a very simple trait as it only requires 3 and it simply reduces the mana cost of its units. Teemo and Gnar will greatly benefit from this, but Bard and Nautilus early game won’t help your comp too much even with Astro. It will likely be a trait used for comps that run Teemo, or if you happen to find an early Gnar and want to build up experience using Bard’s ability.
Paragon (1 unit)
Ally Star Guardian basic attacks are converted to true damage. All other ally basic attacks are converted to magic damage (1).
Paragon is an extremely interesting trait. If the enemy is stacking armor against your attack damage comp, you can simply throw in Janna to convert all of your units’ basic attacks into magic damage. Janna in star guardian comps will also provide a solid DPS boost. The fact that Paragon exists will create more interesting late game moments and counter play. Mystic may become extremely popular as a possible counter play against a Janna splash. (Also note that they removed 1 mystic, Sona, but they added 2 other mystic units in Bard and Cassiopeia, likely as a response to Paragon).
New Champions: Tips, First Impressions, and Positioning
Notes: Our overview of these champions are edited to be more concise, for a more in-depth look on every champion ability and their stats, check out their Champions Page for more details. Also note that some removed champions will still show on the trait sections of new champions as they are still on live servers.
We’ll be giving basic positioning suggestions for every champion to get the ball rolling for you, but remember that positioning is incredibly contextual in TFT and to always adapt to the situation at hand.
The terminology we’ll be using in this article will be frontline, midline, and backline.
Following this key, you’ll be able to understand the rows that champions should be placed in general.
Here’s a quick overview of all the origins and classes (click the image to expand).
Illaoi – Battlecast + Brawler
First Impressions: Illaoi shows potential as an early frontline unit to compete against other units like Leona and Poppy. With Malphite, another 1 cost units, brawlers may have early game potential to rival vanguards. The addition of Illaoi and Gnar also make 4 brawlers much easier to reach as you don’t need a 4 cost unit to get 4 brawlers.
Tips: Illaoi’s ability will target a line in front of her, so if you have additional time in the early game to scout, you will get much more mileage out of her if you place her right in front of where the enemy places their units.
Nocturne – Battlecast + Infiltrator
First Impressions: Nocturne plays a similar role to Zoe. He is a 1 cost unit that provides decent CC. While he likely won’t become the carry of a team (unless someone innovates a hyper roll comp around him), he will likely be a synergy piece on either infiltrator or battlecast teams.
Tips: Since Nocturne provides CC, you will get the most out of him if you place him so that he targets an enemy carry. Getting CC off the enemy main carry can completely change the fight if you are able to position well enough to do so. Enemies can counter this with better positioning or items like Quicksilver, but keep this in mind throughout the game to really squeeze every drop of potential in this unit.
Kog’Maw – Battlecast + Blaster
First Impressions: Kog’Maw right off the bat shows solid potential to possibly be a slow roll carry. He is a blaster with essentially a free Giant Slayer on him. He may become a secondary carry in blaster teams, or he may become the main carry in a slow roll team. Who knows?
Tips: Kog’Maw, with no attack speed items, will have 1.33 attack speed during his ability. Since his ability lasts three seconds, he will auto attack 3.99 times (assuming there are no AI bugs). Even with one bow, you guarantee that Kog’Maw will attack 4 times during his ability (barring AI movements). Stacking more attack speed will increase the attacks he gets off during his ability.
Nautilus – Astro + Vanguard
First Impressions: Nautilus off the bat shows potential as an early game unit that pairs very well with vanguards. Mordekaiser, the other 2-cost vanguard can be really tanky with his ability, but Nautilus provides a solid amount of CC instead. This will likely make him a premier early game unit to pair alongside Leona or Poppy.
Tips: It is unclear currently how his ability decides who to target. It may be random, or it may be the furthest unit (or whatever the devs decide to do). Whatever the case, use this to your advantage if you can to try and target enemies you want to.
Zed – Rebel + Infiltrator
First Impressions: Zed is back once again and has a very interesting ability. The bonus magic damage on his ability is quite low, but the attack damage steal can be quite strong if you are able to hit an enemy with high damage.
Tips: Zed, like many other infiltrators, will do a lot of work if he has RFC. Because of his melee range, RFC will allow his AI to attack enemies much more smoothly rather than walking around constantly.
Bard – Astro + Mystic
First Impressions: Bard is an extremely interesting unit. He does not provide much help outside of his traits, but his ability will slowly be able to give you XP over the course of the game. This can make him a solid mana item holder for late game units while you rack up additional XP.
Tips: Bard will likely be an early/mid game unit that will allow you to snowball your XP. He will most likely be sold in the late game regardless of what team comp he is in, so don’t be too afraid to slam mana items onto him.
Cassiopeia – Battlecast + Mystic
First Impressions: Cassiopeia has interesting potential as she deals damage over time. The only caveat is that fights may not last long enough for her to deal sufficient damage against enemies. However, since she provides mystic, she may have an interesting pairing alongside Urgot, another new unit, to combine protectors and mystic in a slow damage team comp.
Positioning: Backline / Midline
Tips: Like many other champions, Cassiopeia has a specific targeting ability (nearest non-poisoned champion). Use this to your advantage to hit the targets you want to first during fights.
Vayne – Cybernetic + Sniper
First Impressions: Vayne is a 7th cybernetic unit that will be added to the set. This will allow cybernetic comps to not solely rely on Ekko in order to hit 6 cybernetic. Her carry potential will have to be evaluated, as cybernetic units have a multitude of paths to go (blademaster, infiltrator, blaster, and now sniper).
Tips: Like Kog’Maw, stacking more attack speed on Vayne will allow her to attack more times while her ability is up. Her ability may add some innate survivability, so she may not need defensive items, but it may not be enough to warrant 3 offensive items.
Gnar – Astro + Brawler
First Impressions: Gnar is coming back as one of the best CC units from set 1. This time, he has an astro tag which will greatly help his ability to cast before dying. Being a brawler unit, he essentially takes over Cho’Gath’s role as the high cost brawler CC unit.
Positioning: Frontline / Midline
Tips: Having a Guardian Angel will almost always ensure that Gnar casts, but you may not have enough items to spare a GA on him. Since he is a ranged unit, if you are afraid that he will die, you can place him in the middle of the board so that he does not take too much aggro. If he does have GA, you can slam him in the front to get the most out of his ability.
Riven – Chrono + Blademaster
First Impressions: Riven is very interesting as her ability has three parts, building up as she casts her ability. Attack speed may not be so ideal on her as she casts her ability so often, it may not even be necessary. Either way, she will provide solid magic damage to any team that likely is running a majority attack damage.
Tips: We have Seraph’s recommended for her as this will allow her to cast after only 1 auto attack, but with blademaster, Seraph’s might not even be necessary. Quicksilver will definitely be nice though, as she is melee and will be prone to many sources of CC.
Teemo – Astro + Sniper
First Impressions: Teemo is finally coming to TFT and has a very fitting ability. Any team that runs around Teemo will likely want to Astro to reduce his mana cost. Teemo also has one of the fastest base attack speeds in the game, so items like Shojin and Rageblade could allow him to spam his ability assuming he stays alive.
Tips: With astro, Teemo will only have a mana cost of 50, so Seraph’s Embrace can be an alternative to Spear of Shojin if you have the astro units. His long range will give him innate survivability, but you may find yourself needing a defensive item like Quicksilver or Guardian Angel to keep him alive long enough to carry the team.
Viktor – Battlecast + Sorcerer
First Impressions: Viktor has a very interesting ability. He targets the two units that are furthest away from each other, and will deal additional damage to units in between. This opens up a lot of positioning play and counter play, but I think the important thing to note is that Viktor 3 star will instantly kill the two units furthest from each other (even with magic resistance on the enemy, with ability power items his ability will scale past 100%).
Tips: Positioning Viktor does not matter as much as counter positioning since his ability depends on the positioning of the enemy rather than your own. This can make things difficult for the Viktor player, but it will limit how your opponent can position his board. Having units like Blitzcrank alongside Viktor will also make your opponents life a nightmare to position around you.
Janna – Star Guardian + Paragon
First Impressions: Oh my oh my. This unit is a game changer. Her ability is quite good as it provides ally buffs and enemy CC, but her Paragon trait really steals the show. With a Star Guardian’s Charm, you can make any ally deal true damage from basic attacks just by having Janna on the board (I’m looking at you Jhin). While this may not be extremely competitive and consistent, it will definitely make for some fun games.
Tips: Janna fires her tornados in a cone, so you can assume that placing her in the middle will cover the most area. This may not be the case depending on how wide the tornados travel, but play around with it to figure out how to cover the most space on the enemy board, while also hitting most of your own units.
Urgot – Battlecast + Protector
First Impressions: Riot is really turning it up with these creative 5 cost units. Urgot, based on how his ability text is give, seems like he will kill any unit he casts his ability on. While his ability may take some time, being able to kill any unit with true damage can be extremely powerful.
Positioning: Frontline / Midline
Tips: Since Urgot’s ability guarantees a kill, you may want to try and keep your team alive as long as possible, rather than kill as fast as possible. Protector mystic teams may come back in style with a powerful unit like Urgot. Note that Urgot may also pair nicely with Cassiopeia as she provides both battlecast and mystic.